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Becoming a Powerful Leader

May 26, 2015 01:58 PM

By Stefanie Beaver, VHB

The WTS-Boston May Luncheon took place on May 14th and was organized by the Membership, Diversity, and Programs committees.  The event featured guest speaker Joanne G. Linowes, head of Linowes Executive Development Institute, LLC (LXDi).  Joanne is a well-established and respected coach with expertise on the subjects of presentations, interviews, communications, and marketing, especially within the architecture, engineering, planning, and building industries.  She has successfully coached professionals across the US and overseas on these subjects since 1986.  The presentation included detailed and enthusiastic discussions on some of the copyrighted LXDi techniques, as well as engaging activities where attendees were encouraged to interact with their neighbors.  Joanne focused on the three “M’s” to remember when presenting and communicating with others – Mindset, Message, and Mannerisms.  Her approach describes methods to achieve the types of people-skills necessary to become a leader.

The first subject discussed was Mindset, where Joanne presented the necessity of having the right attitude to be an effective leader.  She highlighted the importance of mindfully reviewing a project before, during, and after completion.  She also pointed out that successful leaders always give credit to their team, and make sure to thank others for their work.  One of the main points she stressed was that being a leader isn’t just about being in charge.

During the section on Message, Joanne focused on how to say the ‘right’ thing the ‘right’ way. Audience members participated in several activities which illustrated the best way to convey a message.  Joanne expressed how when making conversation it is crucial to talk less, listen more, and ask the other person conversational questions. She suggested it’s best to speak only about 30% of the time, and let the other person do the majority of the talking.  She also demonstrated appropriate body language to signify that you are paying attention and interested in what someone has to say.  Attendees were asked to come up with a conversational question to pose to a neighbor at their table, with the goal being to start a real conversation.  Another tip Joanne gave was that when presenting, people should use language that makes it clear how what you’re doing is a good thing.  If discussing a project, highlight the positive outcomes the project will accomplish. 

The final section Joanne presented to the group was Mannerisms, which focused on posture, speech, attire, and recognizing others.  She discussed how it is always important to ‘move with a purpose’ when entering a room for a meeting or a presentation.  She also stressed how your voice is a tool, by having the crowd repeat a sentence several times putting emphasis on a different word each time, to demonstrate how the use of emphasis changed the impact the sentence had.  She presented the ‘psychology of attire’ and made recommendations about attire for different types of occasions and audiences.  Some key fashion tips audience members took away from this portion of the presentation were to wear something ‘dark and stark’ such as a dark jacket and white shirt to lend credibility and authority, or to wear earth tones to seem more approachable, and lastly when in doubt wear a jacket instead of a sweater.  Joanne also emphasized the importance of recognizing and saying thank you to others, and how this is sometimes best accomplished with a handwritten thank you note.

This presentation was very informative and will have a lasting impact on the attendees of the luncheon, who will be able to use these skills and tips countless times throughout their careers.  Joanne’s captivating presentation style along with the interesting and helpful content kept the entire audience engaged and involved throughout the duration of the presentation.  WTS Boston thanks Ms. Linowes for sharing her valuable and enlightening expertise and leadership strategies with our attendees. 





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